Rain and Prosecco day

It was the third Sunday of November in Toronto. The day was gloomy and so was my energy. I talked to my mom and dad while laying down on my couch through Facebook Messenger and my brother joined after. So far, typical Sunday for me.

I was thinking about what to have for lunch/dinner and had to go out and get some groceries anyway. I picked up the dark beer I was going to use for my Sauce Espagnole and roamed around the wine aisle. I was in a celebratory mood since it is my birthday month, so I grabbed a bottle of Ruffino Prosecco as well, which I am sipping on as I am typing this. While, of course, being aware of the time since the pork loin is in the oven right now.

I am braising a pork loin with Sauce Espagnole. It is my first time making this recipe. And the truth is that I thought it was going to be harder to make because of the long list of ingredients. It was not. The whole thing took about 90 minutes to make. A bit messy, yes, but worth it. I also sliced my thumb mistakenly while trying to slice the carrots. That part is a bit blurry; I just remember seeing my finger covered in blood. Not a big deal, I cleaned it up with a bit of alcohol, put a band-aid on, and went back to the kitchen.

I baked the pork for 40 minutes along with the Sauce Espagnole and I served it with leftover quinoa and half avocado. I drank the remaining of the beer while Dash and Lily from Netflix was playing in the background. The sauce was rich and the pork a bit on the dry side. And because I was drinking the same beer that I used for making the sauce, it mixed perfectly with the whole meal. I was satisfied. It was comfort food on a rainy day.

I posted this recipe on my highlights called Food@home on my Instagram profile if you would like to see how it happened.


Let’s Talk About Pizza – Oggi Beyond The Meat

I would like to consider myself a pizza connoisseur. I could even say that pizza is my favorite food and I think my friends would agree with that.

I was at Costco on Saturday and started thinking about what I was going to have for lunch. I was done with my shopping, so I started walking down the gigantic aisles of Costco frozen goodies. I knew I wanted pizza, but I was not willing to wait in line for it. I walked by frozen fruits, beverages, ice cream, even the coffee aisle and I could not find frozen pizza. I was about to just give up and go home.

When I found the pizza fridge, my eyes opened wide and the fridge had a shiny aura. I followed the imaginary lights to the fridge and skimmed through all the types of frozen pizza. I was looking for a specific one until I found it. The cauliflower crust, beyond the meat made by Oggi. I have heard and read about it for weeks and I was willing to try it. So, I did not think twice and got it. It is $12 and the box has 2 individual pizzas. I think that is reasonably priced.

I drove home excited while my stomach rumbled. I turned the oven on as soon as I walked into my house and started to unpack. Read the instructions on the pizza box while trying to get the pizza out of the plastic wrapping. My first impression was that it looked like any frozen pizza -the vegetables, the meat, and the cheese as well as the crust. It was colorful- the white from the crust at the bottom and the dark red from the Italian (beyond the meat) sausage. However, these were not regular ingredients. Everything that was put in this pizza is all plant-based.

Anyways, I baked the pizza for about 15 minutes and waited for it to cool down before slicing it. Once I sliced the knife through the crust it went in smoothly, however, the ends of it were too crispy that it crumbled. I took a plate and served myself four slices. I took my first bite and the first thing I tasted was the tomato sauce. It was rich, thick and with a pinch of oregano after taste. The crust was not as crunchy and you could not taste the cauliflower at all, which is a good thing for picky eaters. It tasted almost like a real flour crust which was surprising to me. The beyond the meat pieces of Italian sausage was too chewy. At this point, I realized I probably overcooked it. The vegan cheese camouflaged among the rest of the ingredients and was tasteless. I knew it was there because you could see it, but taste-wise did not make a difference.

Overall, I was surprised at how good it was. I had plant-based pizza before and it was a fiasco, which is probably the reason why I was not expecting much from Oggi. However, even though I overcooked it because I did, this plant-based pizza can trick you into thinking you are having the real thing.

The Feelings of Food

Have you eaten something and then feeling strange minutes after? And this could go both ways. Strange-good when you feel full of life and ready to take on the world. Strange-bad when you just want to lay down and sleep for a whole week.

Is that how foods are feeling when you eat them? I wonder…

Greener vegetables bring a sense of freshness to our bodies and provide a field full of space for other nutrients to get into our bodies. On the contrary, flours, sometimes can make us feel like we just got a shot of energy or can also make us lie down on the couch Sunday night with our bellies pointing to the ceiling. It will, of course, depend on how much of it you have but the first bite is always the one that counts.

If you think about it, green vegetables are grown out in open fields with direct sunlight and lots of water. Nobody will ever be in a bad mood under direct sunlight and water, right? Why do we, humans, then love going to the beach? It is the exact same answer for both scenarios. It is freedom. That is how I feel when I am at the beach.

Flours though, are kept in the dark. No direct sunlight, no water. They can last months, sometimes years, in the pantry if stored properly. This darkness that is part of the flour can be seen in the foods we eat that are made with it. Pizza for example, will have you wanting to take a nap, in general, and I think is because the flour used to make the pizza, once it enters our body, it wants to shut us down, it wants us to close our eyes and get into a dark place, literally.

I am not an expert in the matter. Not at all. But by spending too much time at home and having to cook my own meals most of the time, I have learned the types of foods that make me feel better throughout my day.

Do you agree? Do you think what we eat affects our mood/feelings?